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Old 09-02-2006, 11:49 PM   #1
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1976 31' Sovereign
Youngsville , North Carolina
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Need Advice - No Title

Hello All,
I've been looking at a 1976 Sovereign 31' that is for sale really cheap. When I asked why, he explained that he doesn't have the title. When I talk to the old guy, I don't get the impression that it is stolen in the slightest. The problem is if I decide to get it....how do I register it? He says he uses it all the time and uses transfer tags and has had no problem. I would prefer to have it completely on the up and up.

He doesn't have any paperwork showing who he bought it from or for how much. I know that I would have to get a receipt from him to show that I did pay for it but I don't know what to do next. If I buy it...Do you think I could try to put a mechanics lein on it and have the DMV contact the titled owner? I think it would allow them a set time to respond, if they don't...they would cut me a title????

Anyone experienced title problems like this before? I know the "beware postings" are coming but I want to hear them too. I'll take all information and opinions regardless of the form...ha.

Thanks,
Josh
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Old 09-03-2006, 12:01 AM   #2
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Title

Hello,

First of all in what state do you intend to register your vehicle? This may make a huge difference. Secondly, how long has it been since the trailer was "legally" registered? Look at the current license plate tags on the trailer. That will make a difference too. If you do not have any registration paperwork, you probably can list lost or stolen registration and just go by the serial number or whatever your state uses. I would simply phone your local DMV and ask what the protocol would be. If you have the serial number, etc. DMV can probably do a search for you and let you know. The title issue will be determined by the DMV, and there are transactions without titles... just ask them. They aren't going to take notes and your name/address over the phone... just give you information. Just be kind, patient, and thankful to the person you speak to. It works. I have registered old vehicles that didn't have any paperwork left.... it works. In some states, however, if a registered vehicle skips a year or two only, you get to pay the difference when you legally register it along with the fines. If you are in California it could be quite a bit!

I would do my homework before I crossed palms with $.

Good luck. Let us know what you find out!

Mrs. NorCal Bambi (traveling in S Tardis)
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Old 09-03-2006, 03:14 PM   #3
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1976 31' Sovereign
Youngsville , North Carolina
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Thanks for the response,

I'm in NC and it is in CT. I read a bunch last night about this and apparently, CT didn't use titles before 1986...only bill of sales. NC will still make this difficult but I found several companies that help you title RVs, Bikes and Hot Rods that didn't have titles. They do it help people who buy a train wreck of a vechicle and repair them. I read about them in other forums for different topics and several moderators of hot rod and motorcycl,e forums spoke highly of their experiences with them. The even used them in NC! This would save me a bunch of money if I can work this out.

Josh
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Old 09-03-2006, 03:23 PM   #4
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Smile No Title?

I had the same probelm trying to register my old boat. I am in Cali, and the DMV had me fill out a "statement of fact" form where I had to describe where I got it. I had to have the previous owner fill one out also, even though he never had the title, to explain how he got it.

Then, the DMV rearched the serial number for the last registerd owner and I had to send a letter certified mail to that person. If the last registered owner didn't respond within one month (they didn't), then they issued me a title.

Don't let that discourage you, go to the DMV BEFORE you buy this thing and ask them how to go about getting the title if you decide to buy it.

Good Luck!
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Old 09-03-2006, 04:25 PM   #5
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Riverhead , New York
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I just bought mine in CT the DMV said all i need is a bill of sale for anything over 25 years. I also insisted it be notorized.

No title over 25 years old!

The owner also has to sign two other DMV forms and you will get an interstate temp tag for $30
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Old 09-03-2006, 05:50 PM   #6
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There are services that advertise in Hemmings Motor News and other places that will handle registration for a fee, but it really can be done yourself with patience and a sense of humor...

The ideas above are good, and Bill of Sale should probably come from NC DMV Website, if you can download it, or else CT.. You may have option to try and get temp title in CT from sller with CT Bill of Sale, or haul trailer and paperwork to NC and try to resolve it there. Several threads indicate risk of getting stopped and hassled in transit low, but a good Bill of Sale from seller will probably get you home if you decide to work problem in NC...

John McG
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Old 09-03-2006, 08:07 PM   #7
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Hi Fish, I'm in Tennessee and purchased a Georgia trailer with no title. The POs had a current registration, however. I was told a valid bill of sale would get me home, no tags on trailer was OK for max 30 days. Then I tried to tag and register in TN. Like Lipets, I had to have a NOTARIZED Bill of Sale with the seller having the exact same name on the bill of sale as was on the current registration. I also had to have the ORIGINAL registration, not a copy, when I went to the Tennessee DMV to complete things and be legal. I didn't know all this initially and had to spend another week getting what they wanted. The DMV did not return the original Georgia registration, said it was to remian with my file. Do check with NC and find out what they require.
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Old 09-04-2006, 12:56 AM   #8
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I think if you are a member of AAA Auto Insurance they will registration (and maybe title?) for you... at least in California they will.

Mrs. NorCal Bambi (traveling in S Tardis)
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Old 09-04-2006, 06:56 AM   #9
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1976 31' Sovereign
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Thanks for all the advice everyone. The seller stopped replying so I'm assuming it sold locally. It's a bummer but I'll keep looking for one. Let me know if any of you see a steal of a deal for one that is over 30'. Doesn't really matter to me what the interior looks like as long as the major components on it work. I'm ready to get one and get started.

Josh
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Old 09-05-2006, 10:18 AM   #10
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CSAA stopped doing "Out of State" registrations..

Just a clarification for Ms Nor Cal Bambi and others in CA....

CSAA (the Calif AAA) has recently changed policy and won't handle CA registration of out of state vehicles any longer.. Too many hassles and problems, apparently. They can provide some of the forms, which are also downloadable from DMV website, but a visit to DMV is ultimately required before registering trailer from another state. Local police officer can verify VIN, etc so you don't have to tow trailer to DMV site, and it is possible to make appointments to minimize wait time...

They still cheerfully handle renewals, registrations of CA vehicles and transfers, etc...

John McG
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Old 09-06-2006, 04:15 PM   #11
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1976 31' Sovereign
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UPDATE:
I tried the seller in CT one more time he answered. I said he still had it for sale and I told him I would take it. I made my decision based on the several I looked at locally and what they were asking for the Airstreams. Even when they smell like ashtrays and have not hooked up the trailer in 6 years and tested anything....and they want top dollar for it. Oh well...looks like a road trip for me. I'll have to work on this title thing when I get it home.

Guess it's a good thing I went to the CT DMV page over the weekend and had them send me several of their forms because they don't allow you to just print them so they should be here tomorrow or Friday. Thanks for all the advice.

Thanks for all the advice and wish me luck on the trip home and titling her.

Josh
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Old 09-06-2006, 06:48 PM   #12
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Congrats and Good Luck!

There you go... First of several wishes for good luck on ride home and with Title... Remember, it's not the Destination, it's the Journey that counts.. And you've begun an interesting Journey...


John McG
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Old 09-06-2006, 08:05 PM   #13
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Yes, congratulations Josh! No mater what you encounter its usually all worth it in the whole scheme of things. Be safe and have a good trip with your new-to-you Airstream in tow.
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Old 09-06-2006, 08:07 PM   #14
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1976 31' Sovereign
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Thanks,
I'll be sure to take the digital camera and document the event for anyone who actually wants to see it.

Josh
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Old 09-06-2006, 08:33 PM   #15
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Josh, I live in Towns County, Georgia, which is just over the state line from western NC. Titles in GA are optional on 63-85 vehicles, and not issued at all on 62 and older vehicles. Older vehicles are traded around here between NC and GA all the time. NC has to have a process for dealing with older vehicles with no titles. Older vehicles in GA can be registered with just a bill of sale. When those vehicles are sold into NC, that's all they have. A friendly soul at the NC DMV should be able to tell you how to register your trailer.

Neal
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Old 09-06-2006, 08:40 PM   #16
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I can third that for Georgia. I arrived at my local tag office with the Michigican title for the trailer. They looked at it and said that I didn't need a title for anything that old. I said I'd like one, please. No charge for it, either - I got the title about three weeks later.

Lamar
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Old 09-07-2006, 11:27 AM   #17
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1976 31' Sovereign
Youngsville , North Carolina
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Thanks guys,
Ya'll are making me feel much better about trying this myself. I guess I'll give it a try and if it gets too aggervating, then I'll try a service. I don't know if he still has the bill of sale from when he bought it but I'll take my bill and give it a shot.

I'm not able to pick it up this weekend but I'm having a transporting service pick it up for me and bring it home while I'm away this weekend. He was recommended on another airstream site and has experience pulling older airstreams. He has all the needed supplies to take care of wiring harness connection. He has pictures of him pulling other airstreams on his webpage and seems very knowledgeable. If he works out fine for me, I'll let everyone know in case they need a transporting service.

Josh
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Old 09-07-2006, 02:31 PM   #18
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fish--This is why I would never buy a vehicle no mater how old without a title. Suppose you purchase this trailer, spend several $$$ on it, lots of work etc and I walk up to you at a rally with a title in my name and a sheriff and take possession of it. If I have a clear title to a trailer that you have it does not matter what state your in the trailer is still MINE!!! This very thing happened to a friend of mine who had a car stolen in Ohio. It showed up in Florida . The owner bought it with a bill of sale only. My friend reclaimed his car and the person who had it had to surrender it.

There is a process in which you can get clear title when one is not available. We did this with an old motorcycle. It begins at the DMV by fileing for an abandon vehicle title. There are several hoops you have to jump through one of which is running ads in news papers etc. Also a bond must be purchased equal to the value of the vehicle. After the process is completed the DMV will issue a title that is bonded, with you as the legal owner. --pieman
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Old 09-08-2006, 06:37 AM   #19
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1976 31' Sovereign
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Mike,
Thanks for the advice but I've already bought it so I guess I'm along for the ride. Maybe I'll have to avoid rallies for awhile...ha ha. I'll have it researched by the DMV and if someone ever came up with a title for it, I guess I'd have to work it out with them.

Hopefully, if this isn't on the up and up...it will show up when I go to the DMV.

Josh
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Old 09-08-2006, 09:08 AM   #20
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Josh; I've also done the abandon vehicle thing on a aircraft recovery trailer. It works even out here on the left coast.Just remember- be honest and truthful and remember the DMV does not have a spy satellite watching you. And have a hoot with your trailer, Tim
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